Forty years ago, on May 1st, 1975, this is the day Wall Street changed forever.
That was the day that Securities and Exchange Commission mandated deregulation of the brokerage industry. Brokers were finally allowed to set their own commission prices for buying and selling stocks. Discount brokers like Charles Schwab started catering to individual investors. It was the beginning of democratized investing.
Of course, democratic movements take a while to mature and take root. They aren’t born fully formed… and the individual investor movement is no exception.
I’d say that, for individual investors, the first 40 years of independence have been a mixed blessing at best. Thus far, it’s been a bit like being a kid in a candy store – grabbing at every sugar-coated promise we could get our hands on and being easily manipulated by the candy pushers.
Today, however, after 40 years of experience, individual investors are finally coming into their own… finally starting to realize their potential… finally starting to understand where they fit in financial markets… finally wising up to how the game is really played.
These “knowledge democracy” movements are going on all over the place. Television is no longer controlled by the major networks. News coverage is no longer controlled by a small group of publishers. Public education unions are on their heels as educational alternatives and opportunities explode. People are starting to take their health care into their own hands.
Believe me, I fully understand that all of these fields are rife with misinformation, power-grabbing and outright manipulation. But there is no denying that amidst all of the chaos, confusion and creative destruction there are real opportunities for the general public to profitably participate in these areas in ways never before possible.
The same is true of investing, only progress has been more halting and sporadic. For investors, however, things are starting to change for the better.
Investing technology is finally settling down and becoming truly useful instead of just being an arcade-style distraction of flashing lights and loud noises. Great investment ideas are available all around us, if we can sift through the information barrage and find real nuggets.
Last week I wrote a piece on the 10 Steps to Foolproof Investing. It was a real milestone for me personally – the culmination of more than a decade of work and two decades of first-hand personal experience as an investor and speculator. It was a milestone because it fulfills a goal that I’ve been working towards for a long time now.
When Steve Sjuggerud and I first discussed the possibility of TradeStops over ten years ago, the goal was to create a service that was easy enough for our parents to use. Creating a service that was simple enough for “mom and pop” has continued to be an overriding priority of TradeStops ever since.
That’s why I’m so excited about my 10 step investing system. It’s easy enough for anyone to follow. It leverages the unique opportunities that individual investors have in the financial markets. And, it makes investing fun.
Step 1 of my 10 step system is to make sure that you’re working from a good source of investment ideas. These days, that’s a cinch. I have followed guys like Steve Sjuggerud, Porter Stansberry, Doc Eifrig, Chris Mayer, Alexander Green and Tom Dyson for over a decade now. They are all outstanding analysts. They all offer inexpensive advisory services with a wealth of good investment ideas. Many of them offer free daily e-letters that are rich in great ideas as well.
High quality and low cost analysts like these guys are a big part of why I think that, as individual investors, we find ourselves living in a golden age of opportunity.
It’s also why I’ve just added an important new service to TradeStops Pro – the Newsletter Center.
For the first time ever, open recommendation portfolios of major financial newsletters can be accessed right from within TradeStops.
It’s a big deal because, if you’re like me, you use outstanding financial newsletters as a first cut of due diligence for your investing decisions – a way to narrow down the range of ideas you have to choose between.
Having access to these portfolios right within TradeStops gives you a new way to interact with these valuable resources and to better integrate them into your personal investment strategy.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if you’re a self-directed investor then YOU are part of the equation. You’re not just turning your money over to someone else to manage. You look for good sources of advice and good tools but in the end, you make your own decisions… and that’s a good thing.
That’s easier than ever before using my TradeStops investing system together with great financial newsletters.
I’ve recorded a short 2 minute video introducing the new TradeStops Newsletter Center. Check it out. Let me know what you think. As I mention in the video, I’m starting out slow here but I expect this new feature of TradeStops to rapidly grow into an indispensable part of the TradeStops service. I welcome your ideas as to how you would ultimately like to leverage this new opportunity.